September 7, 2017: ARE YOU PREPARED?

As hurricanes Irma and Harvey leave destruction in their wake, a question remains that each of us should have asked ourselves after Superstorm Sandy hit our region:  Am I prepared for a natural disaster?  We have important information that you and your family don’t want to miss.

TRANSCRIPT

> ALL EYES ARE GLUED ON HURRICANE IRMA AS SHE BARRELS HER WAY NORTH.

THE DESTRUCTION SHE'S LEFT IN HER WAKE.

SEVERE STRENGTH AND SPEED, SHE TORE APART THE CARIBBEAN.

THE QUESTION, AS HURRICANE SEASON MOVES AHEAD, WHAT TO DO AND WHAT WHAT NOT TO DO.

SINCE SANDY, WE KNOW TOO WELL THE CATASTROPHIC TOLL A STORM LIKE IRMA CAN BRING.

SOME VICTIMS HAVE YET TO GO HOME.

FOR ADVICE AND ANSWERS, WE TURN TO GENERAL HONORAY.

HE WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR COORDINATING MILITARY RELIEF EFFORTS DURING KATRINA.

HE JOINS US NOW.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US ON 'METROFOCUS' AND FOR YOUR SERVICE.

TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT WHAT WE CAN EXPECT FROM HURRICANE IRMA.

A LOT OF DEVASTATION.

IF IT IS TO COME LANDFALL ON THE MAINLAND OF FLORIDA, ETCH SEEDING 145 MILE AN HOUR WINDS, SOME OF THE PREDICTIONS ARE IT COULD PUT 12 TO 14-FOOT SURGE IN AND AROUND MIAMI, IT COULD BE DEVASTATING.

OVER KEY WEST.

MIAMI IS 11-FOOT ELEVATION.

IT COULD TOP AND BRING WATER INTO MOST OF THE CITY OF MIAMI.

IT COULD BASICALLY FLOOD THE BACK PART OF FLORIDA WITH SURGE WATER.

WHEN THE 145 MILE WIND, IT WILL TAKE DOWN OR COULD TAKE OFF MANY OF THE ROOFS AND DESTROY MANY BUILDINGS.

IN AND AROUND THE MIAMI AREA, WHEREVER IT HIT LANDFALL AND TO THE RIGHT FRONT OF THE STORM.

IT IS NOT LOOKING GOOD.

WE ARE HOPING THAT SOMETHING -- SOME MIRACLE WOULD HAPPEN, IT WILL GO ANOTHER DIRECTION.

RIGHT NOW, IT'S HEADED DIRECTLY FOR MIAMI.

YOU WERE BOOTS ON THE GROUND FOR ONE OF OUR WORST NATURAL DISASTERS.

WHAT ADVISE DO YOU HAVE FOR PEOPLE IN IRMA'S PATHWAY?

YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT YESTERDAY.

I DON'T MEAN TO BE FLIPPANT, BUT IT'S HARD TO DO A BIG EVACUATION.

FLORIDA, THE WAY THE STATE IS DESIGNED, KIND OF LIKE ONE BIG PENINSULA OUT THERE.

YOU HAVE 10 MILLION PEOPLE.

HOPEFULLY, EVERYBODY WILL GET OUT SAFE.

THE ROADS ARE ALL FULL RIGHT NOW.

IF YOU HAVEN'T LEFT, IT'S NOT TOO LATE.

YOU STILL GOT TIME TO LEAVE AND GET OUT.

THOSE ROADS WILL CLEAR UP HOPEFULLY.

IT'S GOING TO TAKE TIME.

BE PATIENT.

GET OUT NOW.

IF YOUR LOCAL OFFICIALS ADVISED YOU.

IF YOU CAN SEE WATER FROM YOUR HOME AND YOU LIVE ALONG THE COAST, YOU NEED TO LEAVE.

WHAT ABOUT THOSE THAT CHOSE TO STAY BEHIND?

THERE ARE MANY WHO HAVE.

DO YOU HAVE ADVICE FOR THEM?

YEAH.

FORM TEAMS.

FIGURE OUT WHO IS TO YOUR LEFT AND TO YOUR RIGHT.

TEAM UP SO YOU CAN LOOK OUT FOR ONE ANOTHER.

FLORIDA CULTURALLY, IT'S A THING DOWN THERE WHERE PEOPLE WON'T EVACUATE IF THE STORM IS NOT A HURRICANE 3 OR HIGHER.

THERE'S A RIDING OUT MENTALITY.

TRUTH BE KNOWN, ON THE MAINLAND, FLORIDA, IT'S HARD TO GET OVER 50% EVACUATION.

THAT'S WHAT HISTORY SHOWS US.

THERE WILL BE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO ARE GOING TO RIDE IT OUT.

WE JUST HOPE THAT THEY LOOK OUT FOR ONE ANOTHER AND THAT THEY FOLLOW ALL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS AND HAVE THAT THREE TO FIVE DAY SUPPLY OF FOOD AND WATER.

THEY ARE GOING TO BE ON THEIR OWN FOR THAT PERIOD OF TIME IF THE PREDICTIONS COME TRUE THAT IT COULD BE SEVERE FLOODING.

IF THE GRID GOES DOWN, THAT'S GOING TO BE A GAME CHANGER.

IN THE MIDST OF THE HIGH WIND AND RAIN, IT'S GOING TO BE HARD FOR FIRST RESPONDERS TO GET TO YOU, IF THEY GET TO YOU IN TIME.

THAT'S THE RISK PEOPLE TAKE WHEN THEY SHELTER IN PLACE INSIDE THE DANGEROUS PART OF THE LANDFALL ON THIS STORM.

HERE IN THE NORTHEAST, WE'RE NOT AS ACQUAINTED WITH HURRICANES THE WAY THEY ARE IN FLORIDA.

WE ARE HEADING INTO HURRICANE SEASON.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR PEOPLE IN PREPARATION?

GENERGENERATORS?

GET MENTALLY PREPARED.

WE SAW WHAT HAPPENED DOWN IN TEXAS WITH HARVEY.

DETERMINED THE LOCATION YOU HAVE TO GO TO, WHAT WOULD BE EVACUATION ROUTE AND HAVE A COLLECTION OF ALL YOUR IMPORTANT PAPERS AND YOUR THREE TO FIVE DAY SUPPLY OF FOOD AND WATER.

IF YOU HAVE TO EVACUATE, YOU MAY HAVE TO TAKE IT WITH YOU.

KEEP YOUR CAR -- IF YOU OWN A CAR, KEEP IT AT LEAST THREE-QUARTER FULL OF GAS.

YOU WILL BE PREPARED TO LEAVE AT ANY GIVEN TIME.

WITH HURRICANES THAT THEY ARE, WE GET GREAT WARNING.

IN THIS CASE, TECHNOLOGY PROVIDES US DAYS TO PREPARE.

BUT THE BIGGEST THING IS GETTING MENTALLY PREPARED THAT IF YOU ARE TO LEAVE, YOU GOT A PLAN AND YOU GOT A GO KIT AND IF YOU HAVE ANIMALS OR IF YOU HAVE SOMEONE IN YOUR FAMILY THAT REQUIRES MEDICAL -- SPECIAL MEDICAL TREATMENT, THAT YOU GET THEM OUT EARLY.

TAKE ME BACK A LITTLE BIT TO KATRINA, WHICH YOU KNOW MORE THAN ANYONE WAS A REAL LANDMARK EVENT HERE IN THE U.S.

WHAT WERE SOME OF THE THINGS THAT YOU SAW IN THAT MOMENT THAT YOU THINK WE SHOULD BE VERY CAREFUL NOT TO REPEAT, THAT WERE AVOIDABLE?

WHAT WON'T YOU FORGET?

ABOUT THE 1800 PEOPLE THAT DIED DURING KATRINA.

MOST OF THEM, WHEN WE FOUND THEM, THEY WERE ELDERLY PEOPLE.

MANY OF THEM WERE DISABLED.

MOST OF THEM WERE POOR.

THEY WERE ALONE.

WE FOUND THEM ON THE SECONDARY SEARCH WHEN WE WENT INSIDE THE HOME AND THEY WERE THERE.

THE WATER IN KATRINA WAS ABOUT 80% OF THE CITY WAS FLOODED.

MUCH OF THE CITY WAS UNDER EIGHT TO TEN FOOT OF WATER.

A LOT OF THEM DIED ALONE AT HOME.

I THINK THE LESSON THERE, I TELL PEOPLE IS, IF WE EVACUATE, MAKE SURE YOU DON'T LEAVE YOUR NEIGHBOR.

MANY OF THEM HAVE MOBILITY ISSUES.

IN THAT CASE, WE LOST A LOT OF THEM BECAUSE THEY WERE HOME ALONE.

GENERAL, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE.

WE APPRECIATE IT.

GOOD LUCK UP THERE.

HOPE THE STORM DON'T MAKE ITS WAY UP TO NEW YORK.

WE DO, TOO.

THANK YOU.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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